Daddy-Long-Legs (1919)


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Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

Daddy-Long-Legs (1919)

Director: Marshall Neilan

Cast: Mary Pickford, Milla Davenport, Percy Haswell, Fay Lemport, Percy Haswell, Fay Lemport, Mahlon Hamilton, Lillian Langdon, Marshall Neilan, True Boardman, Joan Marsh

Marshall Neilan 1

Marshall Neilan

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Daddy-Long-Legs is a 1919 silent comedy-drama film directed by Marshall Neilan, and based on Jean Webster‘s novel Daddy-Long-Legs. The film stars Mary Pickford.[2][3]

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Plot

A police officer finds a baby in a trash can, and Mrs. Lippett, the cruel matron at an orphanage where children are made to work, names her “Jerusha Abbott” (she picks “Abbott” out of a phone book and gets “Jerusha” from a tombstone). The orphan, who comes to be called Judy, does what she can to stand up for the younger children, frequently clashing with both Mrs. Lippett and the cold hearted trustees. At one point she leads a rebellion against being served prunes with every meal and at another, steals a doll from a selfish rich girl to lend to a dying orphan.

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Years later, wealthy Jervis Pendleton, a mysterious benefactor, pays to send Judy, now the oldest and most talented child in the orphanage, to college. He insists, however, that Judy must never try to contact him in person. Judy calls him “Daddy-Long-Legs,” and writes to him, however. Judy proves popular with her wealthier and more “aristocratic” classmates, and writes a successful book to repay “Daddy-Long-Legs” the money he spent on her. She is generally happy but misses not having any real family members to take pride in her accomplishments. Judy also finds herself caught up in a romantic triangle with the older brother of a classmate and an older man (who is, unknown to her, her mysterious benefactor). She eventually chooses the older suitor and is delighted to learn that he is her “Daddy-Long-Legs.”

Cast

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Accolades

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

References

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